Arthritis drug offers children hope

A rheumatoid arthritis drug was relaunched in the UK today as a treatment for children whose lives are devastated by a severe form of the disease.





Tocilizumab is the first drug to be specifically licensed for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) which affects around 2,500 British youngsters.



The drug was already licensed for the treatment of adults.



Until now sJIA has mostly been treated using anti-inflammatory painkillers and steroid drugs.



Symptoms of the disease include joint pain, fever, enlargement of internal organs and a distinctive salmon-coloured skin rash.



Up to two-thirds of patients develop persistent and chronic arthritis, and half of these suffer significant disability.



Professor Patricia Woo, a rheumatology expert from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, said: "Systemic juvenile arthritis can be a devastating disease. It strikes often very young children, causing chronic illness, pain and disability. It is hugely encouraging to have an effective medicine now available to alleviate symptoms, control disease activity and potentially hold back the worst long-term consequences of the disease."



A Phase III trial showed that 71% of children treated with tocilizumab saw a 70% improvement after three months.



Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: "Children with sJIA and their families can now look to a future with hope."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, West Yorkshire c£25k

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Banqueting Head Waiter / Waitress

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Banqueting Head Waiter / Wait...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Consultant / Closer - OTE £45,000

    £20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a newly launched web b...

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, Southern England c£25k

    £25000 per annum + benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital